Bindi Irwin, wildlife conservationist and the daughter of the late Steve Irwin, celebrated her 21st birthday with a big surprise. Not only did her boyfriend of six years, Chandler Powell, take her to a beloved place — the Australia Zoo — to wish her a happy birthday, but he also dropped to one knee and proposed.
The 21-year-old certainly does have a lot to celebrate! She shared the news of her engagement on Instagram:
“On my birthday I said ‘yes’ and ‘forever’ to the love of my life,” she wrote. The rest of the post was a sweet message to her now-fiancé:
“Chandler, close to 6 years ago I fell in love with you and every day since has been a whirlwind of adventure and true happiness. I’m so looking forwarding to spending our forever together as your wife. Here’s to a lifetime of friendship, purpose and unconditional love. — Now let’s get married already!”
The Instagram post also showed off her gorgeous engagement ring:
It was hard for people not to take notice of her lovely ring, so the bride-to-be added a little more information about the diamond in the comments section of Instagram:
“For those wondering about my ring, I’m so happy to share. My ring features a lab grown diamond and is made with rose gold recycled metal. Chandler was incredibly thoughtful when he chose it, the ring captures the essence of who I am (with its vintage flare) [sic] and our life together, with the twisted band and scattered diamonds,” she wrote.
Irwin and Powell met in 2013 when he was in Australia for a wakeboarding competition, according to People. He has long been close to the Irwin family.
Powell is originally from Florida, where he was a professional wakeboarder, but moved to Beerwah, Australia, to be with his girlfriend.
Of course, Powell also shared the news of his well-received proposal on Instagram:
“She said YES,” he wrote. He also gave some insight into his thought process behind choosing the perfect proposal location, writing, “Almost 6 years ago we met at Australia Zoo. I immediately fell head over heels for her kind and thoughtful heart that radiates so much light. Proposing in her very favorite place in the zoo, surrounded by animals, seemed like the perfect way to embark on this incredible new chapter in our lives.”
Powell post also included the sweetest send-off:
“Bee, I love you more than anything in this world and I always will. Happy Birthday.” Aww!
Bindi posted to Instagram Stories, revealing her brother as the photographer. Robert posted a message to his sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law on his Instagram account:
“I am beyond happy for you two,” he wrote. “You are true soulmates and have always been so completely perfect for each other. Love you both and congratulations.”
The Irwin family has a deep connection to the Australia Zoo, which is located north of Brisbane. Rob and Lyn Irwin, Steve Irwin’s parents, focused on the rehabilitation of snakes and kangaroos at the Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park, which they opened in 1970. Steve Irwin became well-known for his wrangling of crocodiles, which led to his worldwide fame as “the Crocodile Hunter.”
After marrying Terri Raines Irwin, who is Bindi and Robert’s mom, the family took over the wildlife park and renamed it the Australia Zoo. The family appeared on a reality TV show from 1997 until 2004, which focused on their life at the zoo educating people about animals on the continent.
Sadly, Steve Irwin died suddenly in 2006 after being stung by a stingray in Batt Reef, a coral reef off the coast of Queensland. He was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.
Thirteen years after his death, we’re certain her father would be proud and excited for his daughter’s engagement!
Congratulations to the happy couple!